Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bill Gates & 11 Things Not Learned in School

I don't usually do much other than delete forwarded emails... but this one I thought I would forward to the blog world....

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! To anyone with kids of any age, here's some Bill Gates advice.

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2
: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3
: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4
: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5
: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your
Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6
: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7
: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8
: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9
: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10
: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually
have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11
: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


Pixie said...

Good old Bill I take my hat off to him.
Well if I had a hat I certainly would!

Hammer said...

Good list, not sure if it's really bill but wise words nontheless.

Matt said...

A friend's dad once told me, young people today think the world owes them a job and I thought, spoken like a guy who already clears half a million a year.

But I must remember that 16% of Europeans live in poverty and that fully 10% of European households are "jobless" and that we here in the United States are truly living in the wealthiest of industrialized First World countries.

The average European is on par with our poorest states, such as Alabama.

And I've got it good.

SpongyBones said...

Nice list, I wish someone would have given it to me a few years back ...

Baron Ectar said...

Dang it - now I cannoy complain about him as much! Thanks so much for what you said about Easy Silence - I needed to hear that;)

No said...

that was freakin' great..wish I would've followed that advice 20 years ago....never too late, right?

sammyray said...

Great flippin' list.

See, this is why Gates is among the richest in the world.

singleton said...

Thank you for sweet Sib. We're never too old, too wise, too smart to be reminded. This is real life, baby!

JustRun said...

They're all pretty good, but I like #2 most. It's just true, even if we don't like the idea. And that applies to so much of "adult" life- you don't have to adore an opportunity and feel as though it's your destiny in order to take it. Sometimes, they are just there anyway.

View from the Trekant said...

"Your school may hawe done away with winners and losers . . ."

Very true. There has to be a way to present competitive drive in a healthy way. Right now the pendulum has swung toward denying it exists.

p.s. Hey Skinny Little Blonde - thanks for the nice remarks you've left on my site. As I just passed my one month blogging mark, I appreciate your encouragement. Maybe someday I'll have a grown up site like yours ;)

Jez said...

Hello again Skinny!
I have something to say about each on of those rules. I'll probably irritate some, but well...

1-true, but I am sure as hell not gonna get used to it, and I wouldn't advise my children to either. Life isn't fair, because a minority rules the majority. When something isn't fair, try your hardest to make it fair. That would be my advice to my kids.
2-I would say how can you accomplish anything if you have no self-esteem.
3-Who wants to be a vp with a car phone? I know I don't. I want to run my business without seeking sickening amounts of money while exploting others in the process.
4-A teacher isn't a boss, and shouldn't act like one. What kind of comparison is that?!
5-Flipping burgers isn't beneath my dignity, as long as I am not exploited to do so (as seems to be the case in many fast-food chains).
6-That goes without saying, though parents have a responsibility towards their children, and some ill-prepared parents can seriously mess up a child's life, even as an adult. Parents need to be supported by society, because their children are the future of our society.
7-my mum isn't boring, even though she did all those mum already cared about 'the rainforest' (a metaphor, I take it) in her time. Our parents and grandparents aren't criminals, but every generation needs to look at the mistakes of their predecessors and attempt to make a difference. That's not a selfish attitude-quite the contrary (I can see, though, why Gates-if it is him-wouldn't want us to care about the rainforest, given where his wealth comes from).
8-Society begins with children, and therefore with education. If school can form children to be less selfish and less competetive, that's great. Of course, they should also know, that life is tough. That's where parents come in, I guess. My parents never encouraged me to be a selfish competitive animal, but that doesn't mean I am ignorant about the evils of society.
9-More and more employers care about the well-being of their employees, and that can only be a good thing. Also, working for a faceless and greedy company is not the only option in life (again, I'm sure Gates doesn't want kids to know that fact).
10-Of course. Can't really argue with that.
11-Again, I agree, though how about: be nice to nerds, as you would have them be nice to you? (sure, that's not exactly Bill's philosophy!).

There. It could be a cultural difference, though I doubt it.
Btw, Matt, I don't know what life is like in Alabama, but I'd like to point out, that Europe isn't a thirdworld continent. I'd be curious to know where those figures come from. Also, Europe, unlike the US, isn't a country, it's a collection of countries, and standards of living can vary wildly. Standards of living can be shameful, even in some cities of western Europe-rather like the US, I suspect. You know, the image we get of the US (I know only NYC), is of a country where the gap between rich and poor is huge. This might be a false image, but there you go.

Mel said...

Definitely be nice to nerds. The girl is one and she does a stand up job of taking care of my 'puter ailments. :-)

JR's Thumbprints said...

My students will tell you how smart they are. They will tell you that book smarts don't matter in the real world. They will also tell you to take chances whenever possible. My students are the property of the Michigan Dept. of Corrections.

slaghammer said...

I could be completely full of it, but according to Snopes, this list is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add.
Apparently, the list has been attributed to Kurt Vonnegut and various other people while being passed around on the internet. Rules 12, 13 and 14 covering smoking, immortality and parents were also chopped off somewhere along the way which is not surprising as they came off a little flat after the first eleven. Regardless of who wrote it though, it still makes a good case for getting kids off their collective rumps and it probably should be posted in public schools, except for rule eleven since nerds have it hard enough already without getting the jocks all bent out of shape over having to work for them. ;-)

Orhan Kahn said...


Simply wonderful. I agree 100%

Slick said...

Ha...I liked that last one, it's the doggone truth.

Well, they all are really....

kj said...

hello life.

this was fun to read. mr. gates forgot to mention to follow your heart, but other than that, he did a pretty good job.

Fuzzylogic said...

This was great!LOL ,I totally agree with the last one!the 6th one is so true,I have heard so many kids blaming it on their parents for their failure.
thanks for sharing this Skinny,we all need reminders like these once in a while:)

Spadoman said...

One time when I was quick talking myself out of a spanking for yet another poor report card, I told my Dad that, "I'm smart in the stuff they don't teach at school."

I was sure that was why I got a bunch of bad grades. I also got a smack in the face with the back of a huge island size paw and was told to do better next time.

I still think having common sense gets me through more than schoolin' did. Although I still do stupid things and make my share of mistakes.

Guess when you're Bill Gates, you have enough money to say anything. Although with any sense of realistic life for most people, he is right on. For minorities, some of this, unfortunately, might not apply. The path is harder, longer and strewn with potholes.

Thor said...

12. Error messages are just another word for nothing left to lose.
13. Grown up haircuts are for sissies.

Lizard Princess said...

Inflated self-esteem has been shown to be one of the number one traits in serial killers.
Scary, huh. And self-esteem is what the schools are pouring into our kids- no wonder there's a rash of severe bullying going on!
Don't get me wrong, my kid goes to public school and he learns a lot there. But we teach esteeming others over yourself at home, so I figure that will have more weight to it that what the school is teaching.

Funny post, btw. I don't take everything seriously, you know!

Jez said...

I'm not sure, that the kind of self-esteem serial killers have is what we want for our kids, but I'm positive you've got to love yourself before you can love others.

Anne said...

Thanks for the list, Skinny my dear. It's really interesting, and something to think about. :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

Thank you everyone for all the comments...some of which had me laughing out literally.
Posting an email forward was really rather slack of me & I apologize. I have no idea, honestly, if Bill Gates had anything to do with any of these points. (Original thought is very, very rare.)

I know that a couple of points I have tried to drive home with the little ones in my world are...
1-Life is a matter of choices, so whatcha gonna choose to do?
2-Watch your back...nobody can do it any better than you.
3-Just try's the only way to find out.
4-Live, Love & Learn.
5-Better to trip, stumble, even fall down while moving forward in life than to get knocked down & trampled upon because you did nothing.

peace & love to all...

I, like the view said...

oh! what an interesting list (and kinda like the conversations I have with my kids when they moan on about their school life!), and once again the comments are as thought provoking as the post (and I have these conversations with them too)

I love blogging for these exact reasons - thanks slb

skinnylittleblonde said...

Me Too ILTV!